I eat carrots. I eat a LOT of carrots... I mean REALLY a LOT of carrots. Not the cooked ones, mind you.. but the raw ones.
When I first started eating carrots, it was largely because I was trying to lose weight. Carrots make a great snack. They're crunchy... they have a slightly sweet flavor...and they have very few calories. But over time, I realized that there were even more positive attributes to this orange vegetable.... they don't get smashed in the bottom of your lunch bag, they last a long time before they go bad, they're inexpensive... and most importantly, I really like the taste of carrots. And if you buy the pre-washed baby carrots, they're really easy... you don't peel, you don't cut, you don't wash... you just open the bag and reach in.
My husband doesn't eat carrots - at least not raw carrots. It's not so much that he doesn't like them, it's more that he prefers fruit - almost any fruit - to vegetables.
But I digress... let's get back to carrots.
As I was saying... I eat a lot of carrots. In a typical week, I probably go through two big bags of carrots. And as my items are moving along on the conveyor belt in the grocery store... I sometimes wonder what the cashier is thinking about my order. ("Hmmm, two bags of carrots, a large jar of pickles, and a jar of yeast. That's an odd recipe.") But then I realize that the cashier probably doesn't care about my grocery order, and instead is thinking about the movie they're going to see that weekend, or whether they have to stop and fill up their gas tank before they go home.
Except that I just came across an article about grocery store customers in the UK and Australia. Apparently, the self-serve kiosks are far more plentiful there than they are here. At least in the grocery stores that I frequent, there are only a few self-serve registers ... and it always seems a bit silly as there is nearly always at least one employee hovering around to help out and keep an eye on things.
A recent study of self-checkout machines in Australia and Great Britain revealed that -- according to the register receipts -- people are buying pounds and Pounds and POUNDS ..... of carrots! In fact, people are buying more carrots than the stores have!!!
Well obviously people aren't buying more carrots than the store has in stock. But it turns out that they're buying expensive things like avocados, and berries, and exotic or out-of-season fruits and vegetables... and ringing them up as carrots.
Frankly, it never occurred to me to do that -- although, as I said, there always seems to be an employee hovering about the self-serve registers. And besides that, you wouldn't think it would really make that much of a difference in the whole scheme of things.
But I guess it does.
The report noted that this tactic resulted in a loss to British grocery stores to the tune of 1 million dollars per year. My, that IS a lot of carrots. And don't think that the British are taking this matter lying down. Some fellow was charged with stealing almost $600 worth of groceries over a three month period of time, by ringing up expensive produce as "loose onions". Clearly, he should have used "carrots"... one reason why he was caught was that the particular grocery store he was frequenting didn't even sell loose onions.
Just in case anyone out there has been taking note of my grocery store receipts, and they've noticed the larger-than-typical amount of carrots in my purchases... please know that I like carrots, I really do. And when my receipt says carrots, you can be sure I bought carrots.
I also like tea. And although my favorite tea (Typhoo) comes from the UK, I would NEVER ring up my tea, as carrots.